Psycho-Cybernetics and Other Top Self-Help Books to Improve Self-Image


In 1960 Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon, wrote a popular self-help book titled Psycho-Cybernetics.   This book is often listed as a classic self-help book, as motivational speakers including Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar have based some of their techniques on his work.  Maltz wrote this book because he found that his patients weren’t always satisfied by the results of their plastic surgery.  He felt that they had certain expectations and they were not always met. 

Maltz’s book was about setting goals through visualization techniques that allow for a positive outcome.  “The book introduced Maltz’s views where a person must have an accurate and positive view of his or her self before setting goals; otherwise he or she will get stuck in a continuing pattern of limiting beliefs.”

As Maltz saw it, self-image was the key to a better life.  However, part of our self-image may be based on false beliefs.  He felt we needed to dehypnotize ourselves from those beliefs. According to Maltz, “The self-image sets the boundaries of human accomplishment.  It is the key to your personality, to your behavior, to your character.  Enlarge the scope of your self-image through confidence and enlarge the scope of what you can do in this world to reach self-fulfillment.”

According to Malt’z website “Dan Kennedy, author of The New Psycho Cybernetics calls Psycho Cybernetics the original science of self improvement – and he gives three reasons for this claim:

•Its introduction of the idea of the self image – a term Maltz used to describe certain activities in the subconscious mind

•The role of psycho cybernetics as an influence in much of self improvement literature since 1960

•It offers practical techniques you can use – rather than simply philosophical principles”

Maltz’s principles are not the only ones that continue to be useful today.  Check out the following top self-help and/or motivational books that have withstood the test of time:


7 Habits of Highly Successful People

Man’s Search for Meaning

Awaken the Giant Within

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

For a more complete list, check out:  50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life 

For more information about assessing personality, check out:  It’s Not You It’s Your Personality